Poll of a Billion Monkeys

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Exchange - The Agony and the Ecstasy

The Exchange - The Agony and the Ecstasy : Body Image and the Modern World

Updated 9/3/2006 9:04 AM ET
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The Agony and the Ecstasy : Body Image and the Modern World
For The Catastrophe


By Jason Geriatric

Part 1 of 2

Part One, Tattoodom Come

In recent years tattooing and body piercing have become ever more vital methods of personal expression for millions of people, especially those of the younger generations. But now many people are discovering incredible new and valuable uses for their collections of individual and wearable body art.

On college and public high school campuses across the United States tattooing and body piercing have become the acknowledged means of expressing personal individuality. One young student described it succinctly in this way, “You’re really not an individual unless you’ve got some kind of tattoo or body piercing. And now everybody’s got them. So because of that everybody can be an individual who is just like everybody else. The advantage is that you can fit in with anyone else who has a tattoo or piercing, but you can still be yourself, just like everybody else who fits in. See how that works? Since everybody has them everyone is the same, only different. If I had a friend then the first thing I’d do is tell them to get marked, and quick. Unless you’re just like everybody else, then you’re really not an individual, are you? Duh!!”

This bright young student concluded with this telling statement about modern life. “Man I’d be totally lost without my toos. Man if I didn’t have tattoos then who would know how special I am? It either shows on what’s on you or nobody knows. Who wants to be ordinary when they could look like me?”

The advantages of tattooing and body piercing for those in the know however is hardly limited to social advantage and an expression of fierce and determined individuality. Take Maria-Lochita, a first generation illegal alien, who through a generous California state funded grant program is now a sophomore at USC at San Bernardino. After graduation she plans to continue her academic career with a follow up grant from Californian taxpayers at the University of Pittsburgh where she will take a doctorate in multi-lingual, multi-cultural, trans-national-multi-gendered refugee subsistence economic programs. Eventually she hopes to work for the UN.

She credits her tattoo of the Virgin Madonna with helping her beat out several other student candidates to win her educational grant. “Yeah,” she says in a bubbly but heavily accented Spanglish, “I got the grant by beating out a Guatemalan, an Asian of some kind, three gringas, la Negra, and an aboriginal belly dancer. All my cousins say I’m loco but I know I won because of the tattoo of the Virgin Madonna I have tattooed on my right nipple. She brings me luck, mucho grande, and because she’s there she’s a constant inspiration to me. I feel like I can be her in some way. Plus I really love her music.”

Yet this too is only the beginning of the possible uses of tattoos and piercings. Many are now discovering that their tattoos really do have special powers. Some are even whispering the “M” word.

David, an underground street monkey, crack whore, and homeless mime, sat down in his stolen lounge chair for an interview. “Well, it’s like this. My tattoos are like magical and everything. I’ve got tattoos all over and what they do is put me in this special ‘frame of mind,’ where I can do anything man, anything. Say I wanna knock over a liquor store, then man I just get totally wasted, I mean really tore up, then I look at this sort of really wack lion like thing I got on my arm man. Then I walk right in that joint and show him my ‘Crazy Cat’ and man that things jumps off my arm and starts running around the place busting stuff and scaring the hell outta the counter guy. Then they give me whatever I tell em to, see, for fear of the ‘Cat’ man. Cause that cat is crazy; hell it’s just like Beastmaster or something like that. Exactly like that, now that I think about it… Anyway I don’t have to do nothing man. The Cat is magical and makes people do what I want. The law can’t touch me, it’s the Cat. I’m clean. I laugh every time I hit a place.”

David is hardly the only person with tattoos who believe that the tattoo imparts some “special status” or “magical power” to the owner. Recent whisper campaigns among the Goth-Vampire, Raver, and Alien Abductee movements have made startling claims that their tattoos are actually methods of communicating with other vampires, aliens, Satan, or are even living marks of the Beast. A Raver told this reporter that when taking ecstasy mixed with rat poison he could use his life sized body tattoo of Walt Disney to communicate with the mind of Dick Cheney and thereby run the country as surrogate President. “Yeah man,” said the young raver, who did not wish to be identified by any name other than Vermillion Sunshine, “I could have gotten us out of Iraq ten or twelve years ago dude but I keep making Dick tell George we’re not leaving yet. It’s a hoot man. I can also make MTV voters show up anywhere and anytime to elect Democrats but I just don’t do it man cause like I keep forgetting what year it is and everything. I could have gotten Al Gore elected too but he pissed me off when he married that ketchup sow. Walt Disney rocks man, I got his penis tattooed on my penis - WHOOOOOOO!!! Seriously dude…who are you again?”

(Disclaimer: The message in the above paragraph was endorsed by the Democratic National Party and is due to be used as part of their November MTV Rap and Rock the Vote campaign. It is expected to work.)

No doubt this is only the beginning of numerous generations to come who will all indulge heavily in the material advantages of modern culture; tattooing, body piercing and puncturing, rap music, Christina Aguilera, American Idol, Reality Television, the United Nations, Global Warming infomercials, and nano-sized atomic hand-grenades. The future, the real future, has yet to be written upon virgin flesh. But we’re getting there.

© JG 2006

This article to be continued in Part Two, Power Piercings.

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